Yes, it’s true — resilience is backed by science! Your brain is basically wired to be able to bounce back from challenges. The same can be said for your body, though, we’ll be focusing mainly on the natural resiliency of the brain in this article. In many ways, both the brain and body are self-healing, which means you’re naturally resilient (to an extent).
Although your brain is really good at bouncing back, it often won’t be able to cope with really distressing emotional challenges on its own. For this reason, you need to be responsible for taking good care of your brain (and your body) by exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and eating a healthy diet.
Doing so will help you build up your resilience to be even stronger. Let’s take a closer look at the science of resilience below so that you can get a better understanding of it.
What is Resilience, Exactly?
This is a great question. We already know that resilience is the ability to bounce back in the face of adversity, but what does that mean from a scientific standpoint? The fact of the matter is, resilience cannot be captured by a single measurement or numerical value. Instead, it’s built upon lots of different qualities. In essence, adopting a resilient mindset involves embracing a form of systems thinking. To truly comprehend resilience, one must have the ability to interact with the bodily and brain systems effectively.
This means being capable of, in one manner or another, describing a system’s essence, tracking how that essence changes with time, and recognizing anything that could be a potential threat to it. Systems consist of a lot of different interconnected components, and the systems that hold the greatest interest for humans (such as families and communities) are inherently self-organizing. It’s fascinating (but complex) stuff, for sure!
What Enhances Resilience?
Research into different social-ecological systems indicates that having a mix of different ways to do the same task (each reacting uniquely to different types of disruptions), being open, setting aside reserves, having access to information, learning and trying new things, and having strong social connections are all important factors when it comes to enhancing resilience. By incorporating a few of these factors into your daily routine, you should be able to more effectively build your resilience and grow as a person.